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HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 December 19 - 2008 January 8  > JCP requests overhaul of criteria for A-bomb disease certification
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2007 December 19 - 2008 January 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP requests overhaul of criteria for A-bomb disease certification

December 20, 2007
A recently released Health Ministry panel report that proposed to maintain the basic framework of the discredited A-bomb related illnesses recognition system has provoked strong criticism from Hibakusha (atomic-bomb survivors of Hiroshima or Nagasaki).

In this situation, the Japanese Communist Party Dietmembers’ Group urged the government to adopt a new guideline for recognizing the illnesses of Hibakusha as A-bomb related, if radiation effect cannot be ruled out.

On December 19, JCP Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira who heads the JCP panel on Hibakusha made the representations to the Health Ministry calling for the present criteria, which have left a great number of Hibakusha without health benefits, to be replaced with a new policy that takes into account the continued suffering of Hibakusha and the recent relevant court rulings.

In the meeting with the Health Ministry’s Health Service Bureau Director Nishiyama Masanori, Koike said, “There should be no hesitation to establish criteria for recognition based on Hibakusha’s actual suffering.”

Even the ruling parties have begun to consider a drastic revision of the recognition system.

On December 19, a panel of the ruling parties published a report proposing that those Hibakusha who have cancer, leukemia, cataract or cardiac infarction will be promptly recognized as atomic bomb-related unless there are reasons for denying causal relationship, if they were exposed to radiation within 3.5 km from the hypocenter, if they entered areas within 2 km from the hypocenter within 100 hours after the atomic bombing or if they entered such areas relatively early, even later than 100 hours after the bombing, and stayed there for at least a week.

Commenting on this report in a published statement on the same day, the Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) said, “Our earnest demand has been heard.”

Expressing concern, however, that the report differentiates among Hibakusha and that liver disorder and some other diseases are not included in the list of diseases that should be recognized as A-bomb-related, Hidankyo urged Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo to take a political decision to establish practical relief measures.
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